Commentary on "Believing in the Son of God"
Day 1: Sabbath Afternoon, August 22, 2009
The topic for this week centers on the question of just who is Jesus Christ and uses the following as today's theme verse:
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (I John 5:5 ESV)
The author of this lesson points out that the world has expressed many ideas on just who is Jesus Christ. Since God is the only source of truth and the world is controlled by the Father of Lies, we should turn to the Bible to learn what God has to say about his Son, Jesus Christ. Even better, invite Jesus Christ into your life and he will give you the Seal of the Holy Spirit who will guide you into all truth as you search the Scriptures.
For starters, let's back up and look at what preceded I John 5:5:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (I John 5:1-5 ESV)
We learn that those who love the Father and believe that Jesus is the Christ have themselves been born of God. In the previous chapter we learn that the 'commandments' are the very words spoken by Jesus Christ to those who recognize and respond him as the Christ, the Son of God. The ones who hear and respond to the words of Jesus Christ are the ones who are in obedience to the 'commands' of God.
At the end of the previous chapter, we read:
And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (I John 4:21 ESV)
Note well that Jesus has the full authority to give new and better commandments that are embodied in a New Covenant which is intended for all of mankind. He has authority to do this because he is the Son of God. He is God.
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (Heb. 7:12 KJV)
When we study of the book of Hebrews we learn much concerning who Jesus Christ is. One of the things to take note of is that he is not of the Levitical priesthood. He is much better and this resulted in a change of the status of the Mosaic Law. We are now to look to Jesus, not Moses, if we are to understand what God desires for the conduct of our lives. The commandments referred to by John are the very words of Jesus Christ, not those written by Moses.
The central point in today's memory verse is this: Those who have been born of God because of their belief in Jesus Christ and have responded to the words he spoke are the ones declared victorious over the world. John wants us to know what is already ours to claim on the authority of Jesus Christ.
As for the other questions asked in the lesson, they are of secondary importance if you don't know who Jesus Christ is.
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